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Series / The Keepers

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The Keepers (original title: Khraniteli) is a 1991 Soviet two-part adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring. It was directed by Natalya Serebryakova. Adapting only the first part of Tolkien's series, it follows the plot of the book fairly closely, albeit altered to fit a slightly abstract, No Budget presentation.

Airing only once on television, it was believed to be lost for 30 years, only for it to be miraculously discovered in 2021 in the archives of 5TV , who made both parts freely available on Youtube.

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Compare The Hobbits, a rather similar Finnish adaptation. No relation to the fantasy books by Ted Sanders.


Tropes:

  • Action Girl: Legolas, who has been given a Gender Flip and is portrayed by Olga Serebryakova (the daughter of director Natalya Serebryakova.)
  • Adaptational Job Change: Maggot is no longer a farmer, but rather an innkeeper. (A strange change, as Butterburr still appears later on.)
  • Adaptational Species Change: Tom Bombadil and Goldberry are portrayed as literal giants here, much taller than any other beings appearing in the adaptation.
  • Adapted Out: Many examples. To wit:
    • Our heroes never set up camp at Weathertop, only encountering the Nazgul on the snowy fields near Rivendell.
    • Bilbo doesn't give Frodo his mithril shirt or the sword sting.
    • There is no attempt to cross the Misty Mountains, making it seem like going through Moria was the plan all along here.
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    • Celeborn never appears, making Galadriel the sole ruler of Lothlorien.
  • The Casanova: Frodo — of all people — has traits of this. "His" song at The Prancing Pony is actually performed by a random patron here. Frodo joins in early on in the song and starts dancing with her, which baffles all the other guests.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Once the hobbits meet Strider at the Prancing Pony, the pacing picks up rapidly and turns the series into this.
  • Forced Sleep: The elves of Lothlorien lull our heroes to sleep by dancing around them in a circle and playing instruments.
  • Truer to the Text: One of the few screen adaptations to include Tom Bombadil and a Barrow-wight, and possibly the only one to include Goldberry.
  • Winter Warfare: Frodo and company now set out during the winter — even taking a sled to the Dark Forest — and all of their encounters with the Nazgul happen in the Snow.
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